Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter
THE Government is willing to engage unions representing civil servants over wages and other employment terms, but their proposals must be realistic, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima has said.
This comes as some civil servants in the health services have embarked on industrial action for a minimum salary of US$500 that translates to $31 850.
Government has made it clear there would be no redollarisation and that all expenditure must be tied to revenue, with no borrowing for recurrent expenditure.
This week, the Government completed paying its emergency salary increases of 50 percent to all the civil servants and is finalising modalities for paying the temporary US$75 Covid-19 allowances that it promised to all the workers.
The pay rise and allowances are an interim relief measure pending outcome of negotiations on employment packages.
“All the civil servants have been paid the adjustment that was announced by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, which were directed by the President. All the 50 percent has now been paid,” said Minister Mavima.
He commended the workers’ representatives for engaging with Government.
“I want to actually commend the APEX council and the various unions that make the APEX council for their willingness to engage with the Government and for the positivity that they have shown.
“Earlier this year, we came to the table, we discussed and agreed on a minimum wage for the civil service. It was implemented with a view to say after three or four months we need to come back and discuss these issues.
“Our workers need to be realistic with the demands they bring to the table. Our workers have to think in terms of what is available and what we can make available in the future is to a very large extent dependent on what we do now.”
He said unions needed to be aware that Government was focusing on Vision 2030 and there were specific activities that were taking place and competing for resources.
“We have to strike a balance between our livelihoods and the medium to long-term development of the country,” he said.
“It is within this context that I am saying the National Joint Negotiating Council in the civil service will be sitting to review (the salaries). I want to thank the President for his intervention. He realised that negotiations still have to go on until something is agreed upon by the Government and the APEX council,”
Minister Mavima said the US$75 Covid-19 relief allowance for civil servants was still being processed.